The Kazakh national cuisine is not just an essential characteristic of daily life, but it embodies its inherent hospitality, traditions and elements of nomadic culture. It is noteworthy that each dish has its own history, purpose, and even a reason for being made (some of them were most often served during the reception of guests). Thanks to this, all meals in Kazakh families are turned into a kind of ritual, especially when relatives from other villages come to gather around a table.
POPULAR KAZAKHSTANI BREAD
Shelpek is a traditional flatbread hailing from Kazakhstan especially prepared on Friday and the to honor the memory of the ones that passed away. These are served with cheese, jam, or sour cream, usually in the afternoon, accompanied by a cup of tea on the side.
It is a round-shaped bread characterized by a large indentation in its center. The bread is baked until it develops a golden brown crust and is usually served warm.
Baursak is a unique fried bread with a puffy appearance and used on special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, or memorials.
POPULAR KAZAKHSTANI DISHES
Zhaya is a traditional Kazakh meat delicacy made with horse meat. It is served sliced with greens sprinkled on top and enjoyed as a cold appetizer alongside other horse meat specialties, although it can also be added to various dishes such as salads.
Zhal is one of an array of horse meat delicacies. Slices of this meat specialty can be enjoyed while they are still warm or chilled, and they are usually garnished with onion rings on top.
Beshbarmak is probably the most popular Kazakh dish and it is translated as five fingers, referring to the nomadic tribes who lived in Central Asia and would eat the dish with their hands.
MOST POPULAR KAZAKHSTANI DRINKS
Kumys (kumis) – a fermented, alcoholic beverage milk produced from mare’s milk. It is a traditional drink of nomadic peoples of Central Asia, consumed, according to tradition, during special meetings and celebrations.
Kazakh tea is very popular and there are national “chai-khanas” all over, where you can sip some of the best tea the world has to offer.